September 2017

The Winnetka Wire
Monthly News from The Winnetka Public Schools
Superintendent's Message

Dear Parents, Staff, and Community Members,

September is always a very special time in our schools, as many activities are underway--from Kindergarten students preparing for butterfly migration to kicking off robotics and wind tunnel studies in our STEAM environments. We have also enjoyed welcoming families to our buildings on "Go to School Nights." This year, we have particularly exciting news. As I have shared previously, we launched an exciting initiative in The Winnetka Public Schools that involves the entire community. We are developing an Educational Master Facility Plan, the District's first in 20 years.  

The process for plan development is referred to as "Future Ready D36." A design firm, DLR Group, was selected to guide the District through Future Ready D36 throughout the 2017-2018 school year. Future Ready D36 is a holistic process that will measure, validate, quantify and qualify opportunities to align our school facilities, enrollment, and vision for teaching and learning to meet the needs of current and future students in a fiscally responsible manner. There will be many community engagement opportunities for all who wish to learn more and share input.  The first sessions are scheduled for the end of this month (see dates at right).

If you would like to become involved in this initiative in a more formal capacity, please complete an application to serve on the Future Ready D36 Core Team (linked here).  The application is available through September 20. It is also accessible on the District website at The Core Team will serve as a Superintendent advisory committee consisting of teachers, administrators, community members, and a board member.  Further details are included in the application.

Your voice is valuable, and we are eager to collaborate with you on shaping the future of our community's schools. This process is truly a way that we can work toward honoring our past and planning our future. For a glimpse into the Winnetka Experience that we seek to uphold and more understanding as to why Future Ready D36 is an important initiative to prepare our students for the future, please enjoy this video.

Sinc erely,  
Dr. Trisha Kocanda

Board Meeting Preview

The next School Board Regular Meeting will be held at Carleton Washburne School on Tuesday, September 19.  There will be a hearing to approve the FY 2017-2018 Budget at 7 p.m. The Regular Meeting begins at 7:15 p.m. The following presentations are on the agenda:
  1. Educational Master Facility Plan: Future Ready D36


Your involvement as a Winnetka community member is essential to Future Ready D36. There will be many community engagement opportunities for all who wish to learn more and share input.  

The first sessions are scheduled for the end of this month:
Monday, September 25, 2017
7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
The Skokie School

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Crow Island School

Wednesday September 27, 2017
7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Carleton Washburne School

Monday, October 2, 2017
7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Hubbard Woods School

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Greeley School

Through a regular offering of educational engagement sessions, Winnetka Parents Institute (WPI) is an opportunity for the District to foster parent discussions on various topics of interest. Grandparents, future parents, and community members are always welcome, too! For those who are unable to attend in person, most sessions are recorded and shared on the District website at

Upcoming event:

Not Quite Little Kid, Not Quite Teenager: The Developmental Progression of the Middle School Child
Thursday, September 28 at 9:30 a.m.
The Skokie School Community Room

Join Principal Tess and Principal Kanne for an informational morning session focusing on the ins and outs of the growing middle school child.  We will spend time exploring both the academic and social-emotional needs appropriate to 5th-8th grade children, how they change over that four year span, as well as the neurological changes that contribute to these needs.  Parents with current middle schoolers, or soon-to-be middle schoolers, are encouraged to join us for an engaging, encouraging, and educational hour together. 

To RSVP visit

Blackboard Emergency Testing

On Monday, October 2 at 4:30 p.m., we will be conducting a test via Blackboard, our emergency call, email, and text system. Blackboard is used to alert parents and staff of weather-related school closures and emergency situations. Please contact your building secretary if you would like to update your emergency contact phone numbers or email addresses.
Hubbard Woods Kindergarten students recently enjoyed learning about the school's new butterfly garden, created as an Eagle Scout project by Hubbard Woods alum Andrew Vagra (Washburne Class of 2016, Loyola Academy Class of 2020). With the guidance of Principal Carmody and his former fourth grade teacher Ms. Bierner, Andrew created the beautiful wildflower habitat for students to learn from and enjoy for many years to come. After he answered Kindergarten students' questions, Andrew noted that, "It was also fun to coincidentally see the first graders outside observing the garden for a special project which combined their observations with musical instruments to create a symphony."  

Reflecting on his own experience as a student in District 36, Andrew says, "Experiential learning allowed me to truly enjoy going to school. The teachers offered creative ways to learn which held my interest in the classroom and made it fun...I feel that these experiences have given me confidence in my own learning abilities."

The District is proud of how its Shared Vision is embodied in Andrew's service and learning activities. "Being involved with the Boy Scouts has given me so many opportunities to work to make a meaningful difference in the world. Leading and teaching younger scouts at our weekly meetings and campouts and helping the community through various service projects like cleaning up the Skokie Lagoons and volunteering for Bike Winnetka has taught me the value of hard work and how your efforts, no matter how small, can have a positive impact on those around you."


On September 5, 2017, The Winnetka Public Schools welcomed Al Ross, Clinical Director at Family Services of Glencoe, and Jordan (a New Trier High School Student), to have a conversation about "Navigating Internet Safety and Social Media Use."  

To view the entire presentation, visit our website and view the Winnetka Parents Institute page or click on the video below .

Key takeaways from the presentation include:
  • Technology use is always about balance and boundaries
  • Technology is always changing so there will always be another app to replace the one you've just figured out how to navigate with your child
  • Relationships and trust are key to navigating social media with your children 
Winnetka Wire Logo
In This Issue

Important Dates

Board Meeting
September 19, 2017
7:15 p.m.
Washburne School

No School 
Religious Holiday
September 21, 2017

Future Ready D36

September 25, 2017
7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
The Skokie School

September 26, 2017
7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Crow Island School

September 27, 2017
7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Washburne School

October 2, 2017
7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Hubbard Woods School

October 3, 2017
7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Greeley School

Board Meeting
October 17, 2017
7:15 p.m.
Washburne School

Fall in District 36

We have enjoyed welcoming our youngest learners to D36!

Washburne eighth grade students engaging in science experiments.
Skokie World Language stu dents enjoy time reading books of
their choice.
"Popsicles with the Principal" at  Greeley.

Hubbard Woods
students invited community members & Village police officers & fire fighters to visit by hosting "Bring Your Neighbor to School Day."

Crow Island students express creativity both in the classroom & while landscape painting  in art class.

The Greeley community celebrating their mascot on Red Panda Day.
Washburne students having lunch in their updated cafeteria--
thank you,
Skokie/Washburne PTO!

From the Archives...

  Our history of experiential learning--learning by doing--is evident in this
vintage photo.

For photos, news and more, follow The Winnetka Public Schools on social media. Connect with us by clicking on the icons at the bottom 
of this message.

If you missed it, read the latest issue of Learners, the District's 
magazine, here.

For a list of upcoming FAN speaker 
series events, including authors such as 
National Book Award Winner Jesmyn Ward 
educators like 
Stanford University's 
Jo Boaler, 

The Winnetka Public Schools community empowers every student 
to flourish in an innovativeexperiential environment. 
We support and challenge all learners
 to actively engage in their continual growth and achievement 
to make a meaningful difference in the world.

The Winnetka Public Schools

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